1. GoldenFeather
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    GoldenFeather Active Member

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    Do you ever question your decision to be a writer?

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by GoldenFeather, May 28, 2014.

    Every writer has moments when something doesn't go as planned, or you hit a bump in the road. But do you ever have periods that make you question whether or not choosing writing as a profession was the right thing to do?

    I've recently had a period where I was seriously discouraged. I can't find a job and I'm facing financial pressures.

    Just wondering if those of you who have chosen writing as a profession also experience periods where you feel discouraged and question your career choices.
     
  2. A.M.P.
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    A.M.P. People Buy My Books for the Bio Photo Supporter Contributor

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    Well, writing for me isn't a career as I do on the side in hopes of simply being accepted and published by a house name,

    However, I often question whether I should even bother or if I'll ever achieve my dream of being able to say "I Am Writer" and I've been jobless for times than I can count (Well, no. Just quite often in the last few years).

    What I tell everyone who is going through a tough time is just to cheer up. Things will work out and everything will be honkey dory, Never fails. Everyone ends up just fine in the end.

    I think anyone who chooses a career or a lifestyle that may not be the most secure or the easiest questions their choice when things aren't perfect. Writer's aren't the only who go through this. I say remember why you choseit and if it fails it isn't the end of the world. You can always fix things and change things, even if it means putting your chosen career on the backburner for a while until the world stabilizes.
     
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  3. TDFuhringer
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    TDFuhringer Contributing Member Contributor

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    Every day.

    If anyone figures out how to deal with frequent discouragement and doubt, please let us know. ;)
     
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  4. Larissa Redeker
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    Larissa Redeker Active Member

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    Every day too.

    I'm self-employed, selling handmade goodies and art, and it's like to be a writer: you don't know if you'll sell a product or not, how the product will be accepted, when you'll earn money to eat.

    Every day I want to throw everything away and go after a "normal job". I don't know what make me stay doing my work. And writing.
     
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  5. Thomas Kitchen
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    Thomas Kitchen Proofreader in the Making Contributor

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    Sometimes I do. I don't get paid to write (yet!), but I'm still planning to turn it into a career, and every once in a while I ask myself, "Why don't I just go and get a real job?"

    It's then that I discover I can't do anything else. :p
     
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  6. GoldenFeather
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    GoldenFeather Active Member

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    Ahaha exactly!
     
    Last edited: May 28, 2014
  7. Mckk
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    Mckk Moderator Staff Supporter Contributor

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    I want your job. I make various origami, polymer clay, needle-felted stuff and bits of beaded jewellery etc and I keep thinking I should push it out on Etsy and try and sell something. The sheer monotony of making the same thing over and over though prevents me from starting... what's it like?

    As to the OP - writing isn't my career and I'd never make it into the ONLY career. It would be ONE of my careers, but never the only one, simply because I'm actually pretty extroverted and the idea of being stuck at home every single day with the laptop as my only company actually drives me nuts. I freelance, so I have indeed had times when I could sit at home all day writing - those days tend to be the least productive for me actually, because I am bored and distracted and going out and meeting people and actually having another job gives you inspiration - it loosens your brain to actually write. It also makes you value your writing time a lot more, meaning that even though you may have less time, you're actually more productive.

    Personally freelancing is perfect. I can control my hours, work only as much as I'm comfortable with, and leaves plenty of time to write.

    Do I ever regret choosing writing? It brings me so much joy, why would I ever regret it? However sometimes I tear my hair out and cry and I ask myself, "Why am I doing this to myself!!?"

    But I can't stop. You know what I mean?
     
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  8. Bumfoot
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    Bumfoot Member

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    I joined this forum after an inspirational conversation with my 22 year old son. During a brief moment of pondering my lack of accomplishments, my son thwarted my birth of a pity party. “You’ve been writing professionally for 20 years, mom! You earn a great salary! And you did it all by yourself!”

    He’s right. I’ve done good :) I am a technical writer. I love what I do so much that when I win the lottery, I will continue to write technical documents.

    What I miss is creative writing. It’s not black and white. It’s scary. It’s subjective. And it is calling me to take it off that shelf where I put it so long ago.

    What if I suck at it? What if I fail? What if no one likes it? What if I never publish anything? What if…? What if…?

    Those are the questions that stop me from writing, so I intentionally choose to not give them my energy. Instead, I like to play: What if I am awesome at it? What if I succeed? What if everyone loves my work? What if I get published?

    Those are the questions that keep me going. Those are the dreams that are FUN to dream. And having fun is my motivator because then everything is easier and brighter and clearer and, well, positive.

    Lighten up. Breathe. Have fun. Appreciate. When I do, I am always amazed at the results :)
     
    Last edited: May 28, 2014
  9. GoldenFeather
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    GoldenFeather Active Member

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    Thank you for such kind words @Bumfoot , they're comforting.
     
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  10. Hubardo
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    Hubardo Contributing Member Contributor

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    I doubt myself with pretty much everything I do, so of course that comes through with writing. I've been telling myself though, in regard to what I'm currently writing, that I'm not going to care about getting it published... although a huge part of me has the dream probably most of us have on this forum, which is that I write, like, you know, THE BOOK, and I go down in history, and everybody worships me and everything. But I try to keep that secret grandiosity in check and realize that the more expectations I have with my writing the worse I'm going to feel if it doesn't turn out how I want it to. So I try to just assume the worst: what I write may only ever be mediocre and recreational. I'm okay with that. Writing only as a hobby is a pretty nice hobby for anyone to have.
     
  11. Awesome101
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    Awesome101 New Member

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    At least once a week if I'm honest. I somehow, someway manage to convince myself I'm missing a certain aspect to be a remarkable playwright.
    Then I get my grove back!
    ...But then the cycle continues.
     
  12. Larissa Redeker
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    Larissa Redeker Active Member

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    The problem is that I live in country of the Worlcup, and the sales for small business and artisans are stopped. I don't had sells in the last two months. People here don't think, only act based on something that someone famous said. The country is stopped, the economy here is stopped. I love what I do and I think that everyone have the right to live with their talents, but what I see everyday is that it's wrong, you're a criminal if you use your talent to buy food.
     
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  13. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    never ever... not once... all the evidence points to the indisputable fact that i was 'meant' to be a writer...

    all of my extraordinarily eclectic pre-professional writing life's experiences--even the many 'bad' ones--were undoubtedly simply 'preparation' for the writing i've been doing since i gave up my old life and became just plain 'maia'...
     
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  14. minstrel
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    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Staff Supporter Contributor

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    I will always write. Do I question my decision to be a writer? That has no meaning for me. I'd love to write professionally, but I don't (yet), so it's a hobby, like breathing. ;) I also play guitar and sing, and I don't do those professionally either, but I dare you to try to pry my guitar from my hands. You will suffer. :p

    It's what I do. I don't have a lot in my life other than music, writing, and screwing around on the internet. I don't have a wife or kids. I don't have much of a social life. I fill my life with a very few things, and writing is maybe the most important. How can I question it?
     
  15. Lemex
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    Lemex That's Lord Lemex to you. Contributor

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    No, I never have. Writing has brought way too much joy, and justified my life for me in a way I never would have thought before.
     
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  16. thirdwind
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    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

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    I'll let Kafka say it for me:

    "Writing sustains me. But wouldn’t it be more accurate to say that it sustains this kind of life? Which does not, of course, mean that my life is any better when I don’t write. On the contrary, at such times it is far worse, wholly unbearable, and inevitably ends in madness. This is, of course, only on the assumption that I am a writer even when I don’t write – which is indeed the case; and a non-writing writer is, in fact, a monster courting insanity." -- Franz Kafka in a letter to Max Brod
     
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  17. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    No, I don't question, but my situation doesn't exactly fit your parameters. I do have a separate professional life in a different field. I am an independent contractor in my field (legal translator and interpreter), so in that regard I do know the feeling of not having a safety-net to catch you. Going it alone, so to speak, for better or worse. That part I do understand. But I never let that feeling stop me. My family wasn't terribly supportive until the first time any of them saw me working in court and then they were like, "Oh, I guess it is a real job."
     
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  18. Ulramar
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    Ulramar Contributing Member Contributor

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    Writing is just my hobby. My writing probably isn't publishable right now and I'm still a long ways away from that point, although I'd give anything to write professionally.

    But to the question, yes. I do every day. But it's not a, "Oh god, why did I ever want to do this?" It's a, "What made me want to do this?" What brought me to writing?

    I don't regret the day eight years ago when my first idea popped into my head. I don't regret that project failing (as I was so young, it was bound to happen). I don't regret the many ideas that have come, failed, and passed in the eight years since then and I sure don't regret my work. I don't regret the year that I've spent on my current manuscript and I've loved and cherished every minute of it.

    Some of my best memories are of writing. Of the ideas popping into my head, of me jumping into Microsoft Word to quickly scribble down a basic idea before I lose it, then coming back to it later. My best memory is rocking out to a particular song two days after Thanksgiving of this year while ideas flowed through my hands onto the keyboard of my current work.

    I can't say I haven't faltered though. It's hard, with no real proof that my work is good, to continue. Sometimes I'll think that there's no point because I may never be published. But that doesn't stop me. As I go into my documents to get to my manuscript, I have to pass all my other retired writings. And that's what drives me. All the work that I've put into this. All the time I've put into it, how much it actually defines me.

    Writing is my life. It's my second life, beyond my first. I am a writer and I always will be, be it a hobby or profession.
     
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  19. TWErvin2
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    TWErvin2 Contributing Member Contributor

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    No, I've not questioned my decision to become a writer/author. It took a while but I kept my eye on the long goal.
     
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  20. FrankieWuh
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    FrankieWuh Active Member

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    Do I regret being a writer? Since I've had less time to do it, due to a young family, I've asked that question a few times: am I wasting time which would be better off used watching my kids thrive and turn into incredible human beings?
    But I've come to the conclusion that story-telling is a big part of who I am. I know this, as after a week not writing, I get grumpy, irritable and I make notes on new projects. My imagination needs exercise otherwise it goes nuts, really. I need to write.
    So no, in all honesty I don't regret being a writer, although sometimes I regard it jokily as a curse (my eldest son appears to be heading in that direction - at age six he's already writing his own stories!).

    I'd also add that a long time ago (another *life* really) I had doubts about being a published writer. Like many of us here I found the doors of publishing so tightly closed and the process of rejection so frustrating that I was a breath away from writing purely for mine and my friends' pleasure, resigning myself to never submitting anything to an agent or publisher again.
    But I persevered. And I'm glad I did. That perseverance paid off. Yes, if you look at how long it took, the hundreds of thousands of words, financially it was a ridiculous waste of my time, but no one should enter writing only for the money (on average writers earn per hour less than the national minimum wage). But that's not the point. Having your book on your shelf, seeing it in a bookshop or some complete stranger telling you how much they love it, is reward enough.

    So the message is that writing as a package is bloody hard, yes, what with rejection, time to do it, self-doubt, on occasion envy of those who are successful, but in the end that hard work can pay off.
    And when it does, however big or small the success, the hard work is worth it.
     
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  21. sylvertech
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    sylvertech Active Member

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    By definition, I think writers are the type of people that would doubt themselves the most.

    So, uhm, yeah. More than most philosophers, I would say.
     
  22. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    i'm a longtime practicing philosopher as well as having been a 'serious' writer for most of my adult life and i've never doubted myself in either case, so i don't get why you would say that... would you mind explaining why?
     
  23. peachalulu
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    peachalulu Contributing Member Reviewer Contributor

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    No.
    I've doubted whether I'm any good, and I've doubted knowing what the Hell I'm doing. But I'm a writer. I couldn't dig out/lance/ destroy, the need, desire, choice to continue, if I tried.
     
  24. WeWill77
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    WeWill77 Member

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    I used to question it constantly. But I've realized there's no reason I can't do other things, too. I am going to get a "real job" (a phrase I believe is born from disdain) and a Masters, and I'm going to keep writing, and I want to try acting, too. I'll do it all for same reason I keep playing basketball even though I'm very aware I'm never going to be Michael Jordan. I just want to do it. I just want to write.

    There's really no reason to give up on your passions; just reasons to adjust.
     
  25. TheSmiler
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    TheSmiler Member

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    I have a job at the moment, even though it's not permanent. My writing might not actually catch on even though I've got 150 potential customers. However I'm not going to base everything around writing I'd just be glad to have it as an extra income. Although I do doubt myself in everything I do especially writing.
     

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